Anyway, we were talking about discipline. My partner had said that he now realises the overwhelming need for discipline in a childs life. He had previously thought he was going to let my son do whatever he wanted but had recently realised he would actually be a strict parent. My jaw was on the floor at his sentiment-I didn't even realise he had previously thought about 'letting our son do whatever he wanted' because the thought infuriates me! I wasn't raised by strict parents but I always had boundries. There were rules in my house, rules I wouldn't dare break and I was taught the difference between right and wrong through cause and effect. My mum always used to say "You'll understand when you're older" as the reason why I would be punished if I was naughty or did something worthy or punishment (I'm talking about bunking off school not something trivial). I used to get infuriated with that statement but now I'm "older" I do understand, and I do appreciate it. It's because of those lessons I learned that I know the value of discipline in a childs life. Particularly the early years, because I know rght from wrong-mostly anyway!
Joshua is your normal toddler, for the most part we are blessed with a very well behaved child. He's so good and everyone coments on his temprement and how well he behaves when we are out. Of course he has his moments! There are days when I want to drown in a bath of chocolate and wine to recover from his tantrums or lay down in the road so never to experience such parental hardships again! However I do know that members of my family sometimes feel I'm too strict with him. When I appear too firm with him, I catch them looking in a judgemental way but I choose to avoid the discussion that would follow if I questioned it. I don't feel I'm too strict with Joshua, sometimes I think I'm too soft! But I do know the value of discipline and know that one day he will thank me for it.
When I was younger I was very close to another family. There were several children in this family and we grew up together. We are all now adults and have very little to do with each other, something which saddens me greatly but comes down to the fact we were raised with discipline and in an honest, non offensive way, they weren't. It's resulted in us all being two types of people. The children in this family grew up with no boundaries, no limits and no restrictions. Basically they made up their own rules because they never had any put in place for them. As children, the one closest to me in age was spoilt, jealous, manipulative and nasty-all as a result of insecurity caused by the deep seeded issue that her parents didn't love her enough to discipline her. They just threw money at her instead. Great for a short time but money is truly no replacement for love and nuturing parents in the long run. As we all grew up they went through the drugs stages, the trouble stage with police, failing at school, failing in relationships etc. Now I see that the lack of boundaries as they grew up meant that with adolescence resulted in rebellion that I've not seen in anyone else. I'm not judging them, far from it-I'm just able to say honestly that I've observed what can happen, the destruction, when a child is raised without discipline.
It's because of this that I've always know my children would be raised with discipline. I want Joshua to experience punishment (I'm talking about a slap on the hand, not a month in a cage with no food!) so he can learn that there are consequences to him being naughty. And it's hard as a mother to put this in to practice as my heart breaks in two as I watch him struggle to understand why Mummy is the one who can kiss away tears but at times is also the one to cause them. But I see it as a neccessary evil and a key factor in his development. It's a life lesson I suppose.
|Tantrum On The Way because he can't have his own way!|
I'm a firm believer that if you love someone enough then you tell them the truth. It's easy to tell people what they want to hear-I find that British people especially (yes, I am British) don't always like hearing the truth, particularly if it's too close to the bone. However I firmly think it's more benficial to have the truth than a sugar coated version. It's lost me friends, and caused arguements and tears on both sides but it's the way I am, I can't help it. Nor would I want to if I'm honest. But it's another way that my belief in 'tough love' is shown.
I look back on the times I was grounded for staying out way past my curfew, the times when I was told off for having my boyfriend in my bedroom with the door shut when it was on the 'no-no' list at that age-and it's times like this that make me feel I'm well rounded and balanced as an individual. Ultimately that's all I want for my son. I'm not strict, he runs riot and runs rings around me and his daddy but at 20 months he knows and understands what 'no' means and knows not to do things that have previously resulted in a slapped hand. As he gets older he will face time-outs and the naughty step as punishment, but as yet he's too little to learn any benefit from that.
Being a mother who practices tough love is to me, another way I show Joshua how much I love him. I love him enough to do the hard thing and correct him, to tell him off, to punish him and to teach him things he doesn't want to learn. It would be far easier for me to let him always have his way, to always say "that's ok" or to always go back on my scolding when he begins to look at me with those puppy dog eyes full of sadness. And yet I choose to do the harder thing because in the long run it's the most beneficial thing to do. No-one ever said parenting was easy after all!
So do you think I'm awful for being an advocate for tough love? Do you parent without discipline and let your child learn for themselves, if so what is it that makes you choose to do this? I would be interested to hear your thoughts!
Love Chloe xx